Simple Definition of photoelectric
: involving, relating to, or using an electric current that is controlled by light
Full Definition of photoelectric
: involving, relating to, or utilizing any of various electrical effects due to the interaction of radiation (as light) with matter
photoelectricallyplay \-tri-k(ə-)lē\ adverb
Did You Know?
The photoelectric effect *occurs when light (or similar radiation such as X-rays) falls on a material such as a metal plate and causes it to emit electrons. The discovery of the photoelectric effect led to important new theories about matter (and to a Nobel Prize for Albert Einstein). *Photoelectric cells, *or *photocells, are used in burglar-alarm light detectors and garage-door openers (both employ a beam of light that is broken when something moves across it), and also to play soundtracks on movie film (where a light beam shines through the soundtrack encoded on the film and is "read" by the photocells).
Origin and Etymology of photoelectric
International Scientific Vocabulary
First Known Use: circa 1879
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